Some powers are being handed back to Liverpool City Council. Credit: via Liverpool City Council.

Liverpool regains key powers from government

Revised directions have been published confirming a reduction of state intervention in some areas of the city’s council.

Commissioners will continue to oversee areas relating to governance, regeneration, property management and a small number of senior appointments, but they are returning powers for several departments in the coming weeks, earlier than planned. These include the director of property, those related to HR/organisational development and statutory officers.

Other powers being handed back include the ability to appoint most senior managers. These will be given to the council immediately, and the authority will also regain oversight of the finance and highways departments from 31 March.

According to the council, the remaining commissioners will steadily reduce their involvement and days spent with the authority.

Council Leader, Cllr Liam Robinson, said: “I am really pleased that the government has accepted the recommendations of the commissioners and confirmed the handing back of some powers to the council ahead of schedule.

“It is recognition of the fact that we have made significant progress over the last nine months or so, although we know that we have much more to do.

“We are continuing to work at pace to deal with those areas where we still need to make progress, such as property management.

“I am confident this marks the beginning of the end of the intervention as we know it. It is a tribute to the hard work of staff and councillors who have worked so hard to put in place the building blocks for improved services.

“I want to reassure residents that we are not complacent and we continue to move at pace to drive the improvements we need to make and achieve our ambition of becoming an excellent council delivering value-for-money services.”

Cllr Robinson says he has held constructive discussions about the intervention with the local government minister, Simon Hoare MP, who has written to say the government recognises the progress made and “wish to support a managed transition to ending the statutory intervention”.

After the resignation of Joanna Killian, the size of the commissioner team will reduce to four from 18 March.

Killian is taking up a new post as chief executive of the Local Government Association.

The revised directions can be read in full on the government website. The next commissioners report will outline what will happen at the scheduled end of the intervention in June.

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Regeneration is one of the major functions in the city that needs closest scrutiny. We have lagged behind other major cities outside of London because of the attitudes of many of the councillors towards investors, especially from outside the area. Profit and business success seem to be frowned on as many long for the socialist dream and an all encompassing public sector, but those days are gone. We can still have a fairer society while business flourishes, people can then have jobs and a better standard of living. Meanwhile Liverpool has to up its game and regeneration is the key, and this won’t happen without the private sector.

By Anonymous

Well done to the new senior team at Liverpool council. They’ve had a solid kicking on here for some while, so credit where it’s due. (Could still do with speeding up responsiveness on planning issues, mind!).

By Anonymous

More positive news for Liverpool, but a long way to go ….but a good start

By George

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